DOC COLD TURKEY! Inmates In Withdrawal From Heroin Not Receiving Proper Care and Monitoring, YEP, THEY KNEW THAT TOO!

From KTUU: Father of deceased Anchorage inmate says daughter was detoxing 

'"The father of a Wasilla woman who died Sunday after a stay at Anchorage Correctional Complex says his daughter was detoxing from heroin, weighed 80 pounds, and should have been medically supervised not locked up in a cell."

It is possible to detox inmates in a prison, but they have to put them in a special unit which can be much like any kind of dorm setting but without bunk beds (due to vomiting, diarrhea, orthostatic BP problems (which cause dizziness) and more symptoms such as weakness. There must be room for IV poles. The monitoring equipment would be portable because a person who crashes would need to be in an acute hospital. In other word a hospital unit could be designed to house people detoxing in a prison. A multi-bed infirmary with nurses and doctors who are competent, have empathy and think the inmates are humans would work, but they aren't going to do that. They can't function at all in the area of health care at the Alaska Department of Corrections. 

The DOC does not have competent health care staff because those who have been running it have no idea what competent is. Nurses competent to start IVs on people with bad veins will be needed, since corrections nurses don't start IVs constantly like an ER or ICU or floor nurse they would be out of practice. Nursing agencies specializing in IV therapy could be contracted to do the IVs. The staff at the prison would not have the skills to maintain or detect infiltration, irritation, or infection of the IV site however. 

The DOC would not have the budget to do any of this or to hire enough staff which is a huge part of the problem to begin with. They also have to have policies with standing orders that have parameters for the nurses to use to keep the inmates in withdrawal safe and as comfortable as possible. The medical orders should be derived from the knowledge level of 2016 to treat the inmates in withdrawal rather than the 1980s. There would be quite a bit of research since then and I don't even know what current medications are used other than Imodium in some cases.

The Walker administration and acting Commissioner Monegan will not do what is necessary to help inmates or even alcoholics that are held without criminal charges, that is clear from the last budget and the continuing deaths. I think the truth is the DOC is so FUBAR, the systems so screwed up and the personnel have so many problems that it is impossible to fix at this point and they have no idea what to do. Instead damage control is their agenda. 

 The dysfunctional and abusive state of the DOC in Alaska means withdrawal of alcohol or narcotics or benzodiazapines or any drug with potential complications is not safe in their hands...period. It is not just their incompetence it is the bullying from the health care staff, a "problem" inmate would be denied care and put in danger, I know I have experienced and observed this because of course I said they did not know what they were doing..WHY...BECAUSE THEY DID NOT! They were quite horrid, especially to a person like myself who wrote grievances. It was frightening on every level. 

But the public has no idea that the staff at the Alaska Department of Corrections thinks all inmates are scum and that all inmates lie about their health issues. That attitude comes from the director of Health and Rehabilitation Services, Laura Brooks and goes all the way through the staff. The DOC staff are infected with a pervasive belief that all inmates deserve to suffer as much as they can arrange for them, they don't deserve health care and are not human. These feelings are not just from the corrections officers; doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists and physician’s assistants also feel this way. This thinking comes from the top down, starting with the budget at the governor's office over a long period of time through several governors.

They knew there was a problem with how Heroin addicts were being treated in 2008 when I sent my fifty page letter to Sarah Palin, legislators, the ombudsman, the news media, a rep. and more in 2009. There were many subjects in that letter including injustice and corruption, but much about what I experienced and observed while wrongfully imprisoned by “officers of the court” out of Nome three days after filing an appeal in order to throw a scare into me and attempt to force me to drop that appeal.
I had worked through a nursing agency at two prisons in clinics and infirmaries after having volunteered at one of them. I knew what was supposed to happen with health care for inmates according to the SCOTUS and that prisoners did have some rights. I was also a real nurse, am ethical and have empathy.  

Kellsie Green, was 24 and had been in the Anchorage jail for 6 days. The average number of days for the acute phase of detox for narcotics is five to seven days, but is different for each person. Withdrawal from narcotics has phases and goes on for a long time but the acute initial phase is quite horrible and people need some support and assessment. She weighed 80 pounds according to her father, heroin addicts are often underweight. They also have low blood pressure, especially the young women, but their blood pressure can be high during withdrawal. During detox vomiting and severe diarrhea occur, along with other horrid symptoms and of course it is hard to ingest fluids during that period of time. They become dehydrated easily and can need aggressive hydration. Some who haven't used large amounts of narcotics can just be given fluids with electrolytes orally because the puking and diarrhea part is mainly day three for them. Others who have a longer and bigger habit may have more severe symptoms and/or they may last longer. There are other types of treatment for narcotic addiction, but the DOC chooses withdrawal, their type is what most people call going Cold Turkey.

The loss of electrolytes can cause problems, the most significant being low potassium in those more prone to arrhythmias. There can be additional factors such as addiction to multiple substances making the withdrawal process for an individual need more medical management. With all people who are addicted there can be information that is not told to the medical and nursing staff, it should always be assumed that the person may have a bigger habit than they disclose or use more substances. If alcohol is considered the secondary addiction the inmate may not say anything about it, but alcohol withdrawal can be deadly. If the person was injecting there can be infections to deal with including abscesses at injection sites or even vegetation (bacteria) growing on a heart valve, antibiotics may be needed. The narcotics can be masking significant symptoms of a health problem which has not been treated in the past that can get worse under the stress of withdrawal. IV use can lead to infections such as Hepatitis C and HIV. Of course their immune systems would be compromised due to lack of nutrition, lifestyle and heroin causes problems with the immune system that makes people more susceptible to infections. The stress of withdrawal often triggers some kind of viral infection and addicts often also smoke cigarettes so secondary infections need to be watched for. 

Most narcotic addicts feel like they are going to die during detox but do not, they do however need to be monitored in case they are the exception with a complication. There are medications that help the process and for those who can’t keep liquids and electrolytes down IV fluids are needed. The assessment of the fluid intake and amount of vomiting and diarrhea coming out are important information to be looked at for each individual to keep them safe.There are new ways of treating withdrawal that bypass all of this but the DOC is not going to pay for something that expensive. Hell they didn't even give them Imodium.

“But officers are not trained medical workers equipped to handle detox, the Alaska Correctional Officers Association statement notes. Once someone is jailed, officers cannot make decisions on an inmate’s health, treatment plans, or whether or not they remain incarcerated, according to the union.” Really when did this start because I thought, “If I think you are going to die, I’ll call someone” was standard procedure and as we all know they generally call for help after you are dead and they have pushed your body aside with a door smashing your face into the wall at the Alaska DOC. See here and here.

I wrote this in 2009, but the letter was sent to Sarah Palin and others in 2008:

Just because I am put in the prison does not mean my need for medical care ends. As soon as I was incarcerated, I was seen as a liar, scumbag and idiot. There is no system with which to call for help. If I was dying, they would not have intervened. They clearly even enjoyed my suffering. In fact I was told and observed others being told by a corrections officer that if we were dying he might consider calling someone for help. Here is the problem with that he is not a doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, nor nurse.

I thought letting someone have seizures all day was also SOP. Then there is ignoring heroin addicts in withdrawal until they pass out and when they poop in their pants not giving them any clean ones to change into. The nursing staff and OMG those Physician’s Assistants just roll their eyes at any inmate complaints. I had one scream at me that my main health problem ME/cfs is not real and all the while there were statements all over the place including on the CDC website that it is real and serious. They also dangerously abruptly stopped the medications that treated both ME/cfs and PTSD.

These fools do not know that people in withdrawal who are treated with kindness and like they are valuable people are more likely to listen to those who try to talk to them about chemical dependency treatment. Is the goal at the DOC to cause failure of drug rehab? It seems they are trying to harm as many people as possible through ignorance, neglect and bigotry against certain groups of people.
The union people say Alpha mod is not manned now. That sounds like the orientation unit at Hiland Mountain they told me was shut down years ago. It was staffed with Officers Jackson and Officer Pass back then who were both quite abusive and massive health issues were ignored there. Now they have no one watching what goes on in the intake mod for women in the Anchorage jail? That would be where the problems of addicts in withdrawal would happen along with potentially serious health problems. It would also be where other issues would be detected such as mental health issues. WOW! No they have not improved anything since I was wrongfully imprisoned, it got worse.

The union says the C.O.s recognize when a patient is unstable, that is hilarious, no they do not and you said this in the article, “Once someone is jailed, officers cannot make decisions on an inmate’s health.” Hell the medical and nursing staff can’t recognize when someone is unstable as has recently been demonstrated again. Didn’t the union dude just say this, “But officers are not trained medical workers…” They are not trained medical workers and some health issues are obvious while others are not, it takes experience and training which generally involves a college degree to sort out the benign issues from the potentially serious ones. Assessments, sometimes serial ones are how that is done. Yes, people do whine when they are just fine, but sometimes they whine because they feel like they are dying.

‘“Unfortunately, in many cases, medical personnel either refuse to see the inmate and/or disagree with the officers’ assessment,” the union said.”’ Someone should come when a C.O. reports an issue to check the inmate out, refusing is not an option because health care staff needs to see what is going on. Governor Walker is not going to give them the money to do this. The ignoring of an inmate who is having health problems has not changed and the medical/nursing staff almost always refuse to see the inmate. NOT A DAMN THING HAS CHANGED! Here is the evidence written by myself in August of 2009 in the blog post My Letter to Sarah Palin (part 1). It was in a section subtitled: AM I AT ABU GHRAIB? No, they have decent health care there. I have to say this subtitle after all these years seems all the more appropriate.

There were heroin addicts going cold turkey. Some of the symptoms of coming off heroin are muscles constantly contracting, vomiting, incontinent diarrhea, a feeling on the inside that they are going to jump out of their skin and severe pain. They were throwing up all over the place and having diarrhea in their pants. We even had one woman who was passing blood in her stool and they acted like she was making it up when she complained. They did not supply her with extra clothing when she had diarrhea in her pants, another inmate gave her pants to her. One little girl passed out coming back from the dining hall. Heroin addicts have low blood pressure and with the throwing up and diarrhea they become dehydrated. She passed out shortly after getting in line, after going from a sitting position to standing. I realized what was going on and went over and lifted her legs above her head to help her perfuse her brain. She came to almost immediately. The officer came over and yelled at me to let go of her. I was doing the right thing! He then proceeded to tell her she was faking a seizure. There was no seizure activity whatsoever. She simply passed out. This particular officer was the dumbest SOB I have ever seen in my life, officer Pass. Of course what do you expect from people who get about six weeks of training. They allow them to make medical decisions about the inmates. This is unconscionable. The worse thing I saw was a woman with a seizure disorder who was refused her medication. She had at least three seizures that I knew of and his attitude was that she would probably live. Not only did she have a seizure disorder, but she had been clubbed in the head by a cop. This made it extra dangerous to withhold the drugs as she probably had a concussion. She should have had neuro checks done frequently and been seen to by a neurologist. The inmates should have medical care available at all times. There should at least be a nurse for evaluations. Someone should be checking the vital signs of a lot of the inmates. The corrections officers are not medically trained. None of them have been to medical school. Their training is just a few weeks.

My efforts also included multiple phone calls where I was hung on often and called liar by the higher ups at the DOC. Some days I was on the phone for hours. Those who should have done something about the DOC problems years ago demonized me and the Department of Law told Sarah Palin's staff not to talk to me or help me with anything. The DOL told the DOC to cover up the deaths and abuse and they did. 
I wonder what the outcome would have been for this very young woman, around 18 if I had not lifted her legs to perfuse her brain and the women on that unit had not constantly advocated for her along with helping her. Her needs were totally ignored by staff who lacked empathy and had the attitude the inmates were there to suffer. I am talking about just some of the C.O.s but almost all of the nursing and medical staff. Physician assistants are part of the medical staff and what an assholey lot they are. Of course the higher ranking the staff are the more likely they are to bully as that is how it works in prisons, the bullies want to be the ones in charge. Then they have influence over the staff under them, especially the young and new ones.

For years I have been trying to tell the story of the horrors I saw in the four prisons and jails as I was taken on a tour of the DOC to prevent me from communicating with the outside and to throw a scare into me so I would drop the appeal and shut up. It did not work, instead I told that story. Each time they moved me they said I was going to Nome for a hearing, that never happened. It was all covered up with lies and state wide mobbing against me. The people in charge of the incompetence, corruption and abuse will go to any lengths to make themselves look good and to cause those with the courage to tell the truth to look bad. Society believes the inmate is bad and the prison staff is good, that is BS. 

At this point we do not know the cause of the death of Kellsie Green. I am so sorry this young woman who needed help did not get it but instead ended up dead, but there are so many of them. We know she got no help because they had no staff assigned to that unit. How many have died since my letter to Sarah Palin which was also sent to others in 2008? Is this why the Parnell administration removed my emails from the Palin email dumps and hacked the reciprocals from my personal email?
Of course there were so many reasons to pick from.

Everything in the blog post, My Letter to Sarah Palin (Part 1) is true and so are the other posts. But due to knowledge deficits about my health issues I wrote about being an alcoholic and Aspergers and I have neither. I do however have symptoms which would indicate those diagnoses and a tiny bit more research has been done on my main health issue, ME/cfs, most of the research was blocked by the CDC and other agencies for decades including diverting money given to research it by congress. We are on our own in interpreting the symptoms and research. Almost no doctors know anything about it. I have ME/cfs which causes alcohol intolerance, so I assumed alcoholism even though I hadn’t really drank a lot. The treatment is the same, don’t drink. I assumed I had a mild form of autism due to having some of the characteristics. ME/cfs has been called adult onset autism by a scientist and I have some of the characteristics including physical ones. It has been called many things by other scientists as well. I however had ME/cfs as a child and was very Asperger-ish, but now not so much, at least as far as my behavior goes, but there is some residual.  





1 comment:

Celia Harrison said...

To the commenter who LOL called me a "piece of shit from Timbukto" and then said illogical things you posted on the wrong post because of course you did. The one you want is entitled, "Palin Crime Family Hypocrisy vs David Kernell" Thanks for the entertainment.